Annette Karmiloff-SmithRead more about Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith on Birkbeck University's website.
Listen now 27 mins
Annette Karmiloff-Smith, from the Birkbeck Centre for Brain & Cognitive Development in London talks to Jim Al-Khalili about her Life Scientific. Starting out as a simultaneous interpreter for the United Nations she soon decided that not being allowed to express any thoughts of her own wasn't for her. After a chance encounter with Jean Piaget, one of the most renowned psychologists of all time, she decided to pursue psychology and over 40 years later she is a world expert in brain development and how babies and children learn.
Her research has been cited not just by fellow psychologists, but by philosophers, linguists, educationalists, geneticists and neuroscientists. Her controversial response to guidance issued by the American Academy of Paediatrics, that parents should discourage TV viewing in children under two, is that if the subject matter is chosen well, and is scientifically based, a TV screen can be better for a baby than a book.
(Image: Child watching television. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)